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What should you eat before a run? [The Best Detailed Guide]

    What should you eat before a run? Getting proper nutrition on proper timing is very important if you want to start running because it will help you in many ways. Your performance depends on what you eat before a run.

    Some people stuff their stomachs with everything and some people run with an empty stomach. Both of these conditions can be fatal.

    As eating a lot before a run will cause the pain in the stomach and your body fluid will be misbalanced. On the other hand, if you run with an empty stomach, it can cause dizziness, weakness, and many problems.

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    Eating inappropriate things before running can cause many problems like:

    • Gastrovascular disorders.
    • Fatigue
    • Improper digestion

    Proper nutrition is required for how you think and how you work. There are many things that you have to consider before you start running. Let’s start with what should you eat before a run.

    What to eat

    There are many food items that you should eat before you start a run.


    These are the primary fuel of the body. You should eat some healthy carbs before a run. These are the first to be broken down for energy use. Too much carbohydrate consumption can be fatal.

    They make up 60 to 65 percent of your daily calorie intake. As compared to fats and proteins, carbohydrates provide quick and long-lasting energy for the body because these are easily digested in the body.

    The following list of food items should be considered:

    • Starchy vegetables
    • Fruits
    • Whole grains
    • Potatoes
    • Boiled rice

    Switch yourself from white grains to whole grains because it provides you with many vitamins and minerals like vitamin B, manganese, zinc, etc.


    Proteins are very important as they play a vital role in the muscles and tissues repair after your work out. These also provide energy to the body because when the carbohydrates and fats are depleted, proteins are broken down for the energy.

    So, they play a ”backup energy” role in the body. The daily calorie intake of proteins should be around 20 to 30 percent.

    The following list of food items enriched in proteins should be considered.

    • Poultry
    • Eggs
    • Fish
    • Meats
    • Low-fat fiber
    • Beans

    There are some things about protein that you should know. You have to take the protein food items that are low in cholesterol and fats. Protein locked up food should be avoided, in other words, eat food in which proteins are easily available.

    Normal human protein requirements for a human body are about 1 gram per kilogram of body weight.



    Yes, getting too many fats is not good but you cannot deny the importance of fats in the running. Fats play a role in the source of energy. As they break down after the carbohydrates.

    The food items enriched in low amounts of cholesterol and fatty acids can be taken in lower amounts to balance your body’s needs. The daily calorie intake of fats should not be more than 20 percent.

    Following food list can help you:

    • Nuts
    • Cholesterol free oil
    • Avocados

    These items provide you with vitamin omega 3 which is very important for health and combat against many diseases. Daily fat intake for an adult male should be 1600 mg and for an adult female, it should be 1100 mg.

    Vitamins and minerals

    Vitamins and minerals have a very important role in the running as the exercise produces many toxic substances and free radicals which are destroyed by the vitamins. On the other hand, minerals give strength and power to the muscles and tissues and complete all the deficiencies.

    The important minerals and vitamins are as follows:


    If you are not getting enough iron, you are tired before you end your run. It also controls your stamina and timings of the workout. You can get iron from animal products such as beef, poultry, and liver.

    But if you do not eat animal products, you can get it from fortified cereals, beans, and food which is rich in vitamin C. If you wanna start a vegan diet, you can check out this article.


    Your bones are made up of calcium and it has a role in the strength, contraction of muscles, and blood clotting. If you are not getting enough amount of calcium then you are at a high risk of getting fractures and low density of minerals in bones. It can be found in dairy products and other products like salmon, orange juice, and leafy green vegetables.

    Zinc and magnesium

    Zinc is very important in the repair of bones and energy production. Also, magnesium plays a role in the maintenance of strong bones. It is also very important in the maintenance of blood pressure and blood glucose levels.

    You can get zinc from red meat, cereals, whole grains, and grains. Spinach, grains, nuts, and seafood contain magnesium in them.


    Water is very important to complete all the body requirements when you are running. You should drink water following your sweat production. It means if you get more sweat, you should drink more water.

    Take a water bottle with you when you are running as a precaution against dehydration and many other serious factors.

    What to avoid?


    The food rich in fibers can cause many problems because fibers are not easily digested and they take a lot of time to digest. They can cause diarrhea and distress during your run.

    Fatty food

    Fats are important macronutrients for the body but these are not favorable before a run. These are also heavy items and take a lot of time to digest. The food such as cheese, burgers, and high fats should be avoided.

    White sugar

    As carbohydrates are very important in providing the ”instant energy” but too much sugary items can cause problems for your health and can act as a barrier in your running.

    Colorful and sugary breakfast should be avoided because they can cause hyperglycemia and they have zero calories so you will not get any energy from them.

     Timings of the food

    Neither you should be with an empty stomach nor should your stomach be stuffed. You have to eat very normally and selective. It has been shown that you should eat some carbohydrates 1 hour before you run. This is how your performance can be increased.

    You should also know that you have to take an instant energy protein shake after your run. It will repair all your muscles and make them strong.

    What should you eat – a plan:

    The selection of your meal before a run is very important. If you will not consider it important, it can make you feel uncomfortable and your performance will be decreased. Perfect food before a run is a food high in carbohydrates and low in fiber, fats, and proteins.


    A plan you can follow:

    • Oatmeal
    • Two bananas
    • A cup of milk with cereals
    • Boiled egg or boiled rice

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    Conclusion: What should you eat before a run

    All the above-mentioned points are very important for a perfect run. Now, it is up to you that you can make your run comfortable and beneficial.

    Take your meal 1 or 2 hours before your run and follow these points. These points will also help you to improve your stamina. Make your life better and add something to it. As Ronald Rook said that

    ”I do not run to add a day to my life, I run to add life to my days.”

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